Buying your first home, while exciting, is also likely to be the biggest and most complex purchase you will have made up to this point in your life. But there is no need to let yourself get overwhelmed. Take the time to educate yourself about the process and it will be a lot less stressful. Let’s start with your mortgage loan. If you have never acquired one before, you may not realize that from start to finish, it can take from about three to five months to complete the process. Let’s take a look at the approximate timeline for a mortgage:
- FIGURING OUT WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD (TWO WEEKS)
This is the time when you will determine the type of mortgage you will apply for, find out what your credit rating is, and figure out how much you can afford for a monthly payment. While it can probably be done pretty quickly, give yourself about a week so that you can take your time. The second week will be for getting your preapproval letter. Get Your Credit Scores
- START YOUR HOME SEARCH/FIND YOUR HOME/MAKE AN OFFER (THREE TO EIGHT WEEKS)
Now, the fun begins! Once you have procured a preapproval, you can start looking for the right home for you and your family. Depending on the market and availability of homes that fall in your price range and appeal to you, this step can go pretty quickly, or it can take a while. Once you’ve found the right home, your Realtor will help you come up with an offer and will submit it to the seller’s agent.
- FIND A MORTGAGE LENDER/GET HOME INSPECTION & APPRAISAL (FIVE TO SIX WEEKS)
Once the seller has accepted your offer, it’s time to finalize your mortgage offers and get loan estimates. It’s smart to get rate quotes from at least three lenders so you can compare and find the best one for you. This may take about a week and the appraisal may take three to four weeks. Before you close on your home you need to order a home inspection to ascertain the condition of the home. Your lender will also schedule a home appraisal to confirm the home’s value. What You Should Know About Home Appraisals
- COMPLETION OF MORTGAGE OVERWRITING AND CLOSING (TWO TO FOUR WEEKS)
If all goes well with the inspection and the appraisal is complete, you are ready to proceed. The mortgage lender will verify your income, assets, debt, and home value details. When all has been cleared to close, you will receive a closing disclosure which will sum up the terms of your loan and what you will owe at closing. You will be given at least three days to review it. Once you’ve determined that everything is as it should be, you are ready to close on your new home!
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